A Fresh Look at the Number, Effectiveness, and Cost of Meetings in the U.S.

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to Thematic Session 1 of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Elise Keith, Lucid Meetings

Abstract:

At Lucid Meetings, we work to solve the “meeting problem” in the US. We sought statistics to help quantify this problem. How many meetings are people holding? How many of them are ineffective? What does all this wasted time cost? We found lots of numbers, but as we dug into the sources, we realized they were out of date. This paper details our attempt to uncover more modern metrics and the conclusions we reached after reviewing the available data from literature, industry surveys, and online demographic data sources. (…) Read more

Methodological reflections from studying the agency of meetings collectively

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to Thematic Session 1 of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Martin Duffy, Dublin Institute of Technology (College of Business)
Brendan O’Rourke

Abstract 
An ethnographic approach was used to record the live proceedings of 63 meetings, and informed theory development on the agency of meetings collectively in an organizational setting (Duffy, 2016). Engagement as a participant observer (Pacanowsky, 1988) in a single organization, over an eighteen month period, enabled collection of discourse data from the meetings of distinct organizational groups. While meetings were originally intended as a research resource, reflection while recording the data occasioned a change in focus, moving from the meetings’ content to the meetings themselves as the research topic. (…) Read more

Developing and refining a nonverbal coding scheme on effective leadership and followership behaviors in meetings: Preliminary results

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to Thematic Session 1 of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Jacco Smits, University of Twente (Change Management and Organizational Behavior)
Celeste Wilderom, University of Twente (Change Management and Organizational Behavior)

Abstract 
Background. The role of body language and nonverbal behavior in the workplace has received considerable attention in popular management outlets such as Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Yet, the extant scientific literature does not provide a uniform answer as to which nonverbal behaviors are most relevant to managers for improving their team’s effectiveness or for bringing its members to work towards a collective purpose and associated team and organizational goals. (…) Read more

Theory and Method in Meeting Ethnography

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to Thematic Session 1 of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Renita Thedvall, Stockholm University (Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research – Score)
Jen Sandler, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Anthropology)

Abstract 
This paper speaks to the importance of a comparative approach to the phenomenon of meetings as a whole. We argue that meetings are an extraordinarily useful category in research, and that they become particularly useful through a broad comparative analytical project. For the most part, meetings have interrogated as if they were provincial phenomena of one or another place or type of human organization. People have asked questions such as: how do meetings work in companies, and how could they be more efficient? (…) Read more

Using Experimental Data to Analyse Decision-making Processes in Meetings. A Political Science Perspective

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to Thematic Session 1 of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Frank Nullmeier, University of Bremen (SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy)
Tanja Pritzlaff-Scheele, University of Bremen (SOCIUM)

Abstract 
In political science, collective decision-making is identified as the core objective of politics. Moreover, the face-to-face meeting is identified as the key element when it comes to processes of political decision-making. Therefore, data collection in studies on decision-making processes often focuses on data from actual political meetings, especially on audio-visual material. However, apart from the difficulties of getting access to these meetings and a permit to videotape them, there are other downsides to the use of video data from real political meetings: Often times, the quality of the data suffers from the fact that too many things are going on in a room at once. (…) Read more

Charting the Social Order of Meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to Thematic Session 1 of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Ib Ravn, Aarhus University (Graduate School of Education)

Abstract 
One may view meetings as occasions for the construction of social order (Berger and Luckman, 1966). Over decades and centuries (cf. van Vree, 1999), business, political and other meetings have sedimented norms, roles and institutions that render them highly ordered and ritualized. Yet, despite being so ordered and regulated by agendas, speakers’ lists, conventional turn taking, etc., meetings continue to frustrate meeting participants and fascinate observers by their multiple, apparent dysfunctions (e.g., Rogelberg et al., 2014; Geimer et al., 2015). (…) Read more

The Workplace Meeting: General Process or Multiple Identity?

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to Thematic Session 1 of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

John Kello, Davidson College (Psychology)

Abstract 
The rapidly growing area of meetings research often acknowledges that meetings may serve a wide range of purposes, and that “no two meetings are alike”. Yet the research commonly focuses on a meeting-relevant topic (e.g., leader-behavior, temporal issues, surface acting among participants) with the implicit assumption that it is meaningful to talk about “meetings in general”, as a single, unified type of event.
In reality, a week in the life of a typical employee in a typical organization might yield a range of very different experiences which do indeed have important common denominators (a group of attendees, a designated leader, the expectation (at least the hope) that meaningful action will follow the meeting, to name a few), but which differ substantially in other ways. (…) Read more